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What Are Secondary Sources

    Primary and secondary primary sources are the firsthand accounts of an event or duration and are believed to be reliable. They are original and give reports about discoveries and occasions or give new details. Most often, these sources were created at the same time as the events were happening, but they may be accompanied by sources developed in the future. They usually represent the initial formal presentation of research done by the original researcher.
    Secondary sources require an analysis, synthesis or evaluation of the primary source. They usually attempt to explain the primary sources or provide explanations.
    The journals of the academic community, while usually regarded as second sources, can have articles on particular topics and are often the primary source of details on the latest advancements.
    Secondary and primary categories can be ambiguous and are contingent on the type of study or research you’re undertaking. In the case of newspaper editorials, opinion items can be immediate as well as secondary. In the case of examining how an incident has affected the lives of people during a specific period, this newspaper is considered to be a primary source. When reviewing the incident, an opinion piece responding to the events would be deemed the second source.


    The information can come from an array of objects. However, this classification method is only suitable for a specific set of sources, which are symbolic sources. They aim to convey information to someone. Familiar sources of extended information comprise written records like notes and letters; however, they do not include pieces of smashed pottery or pieces of food that have been uncovered from a middle-sized pond, no matter how much data is available from an old trash heap or how much information is possible to extract from a document written. [8]
    Many sources are primary or secondary, depending on where they’re utilized. Furthermore, it is essential to note that the distinction between secondary and primary sources is a matter of context and subjective [9therefore, precise definitions take time to establish. In the case of a 10-page essay, a text from the past analyzes older documents to come up with an entirely new conclusion about history. It is the primary source of the recent decision, yet an additional data source is found in older documents. Some other instances in the case of a source that could include both secondary and primary sources could be an obituary[12or an analysis of several issues of a journal that can count the amount of content published per the subject. [12]
    How a source is considered primary or secondary within the context of a particular situation can change according to the current situation of the subject; for instance, in the case of a document that is a reference to an undiscovered earlier letter, the document could be classified as “primary” in the sense that it’s the closest item to the source. However, if the letter turns up later and is discovered, it could be deemed “secondary”. [14]
    The attempts to model or map scientific or scholarly communication require secondary, primary and additional “levels”. One of these models can be described as the UNISIST model for information dissemination. In this model, the concepts are defined according to one another, and acceptance of this method of determining the terms is tied to the model’s validity.
    Other modern languages also have more than one word to refer to the English term “source”. German generally utilizes Sekundarliteratur (“secondary literature”) to refer to secondary sources of historical information and leaves Sekundarquelle (“secondary source”) to historiography. A Sekundarquelle is a source that could reveal the existence of the disappearance of a Primarquelle (“primary source”). For instance, letters quoting minutes deemed not to be are not accessible to historians.

    Technology, science and medical

    When used in the scientific field, most secondary literature can be described as “secondary literature” [15] reviews or meta-analyses.
    Primarily, primary source materials are identified by the term “original research papers written by the researchers who did the study.” One example of primary source material is the Methods, Purposes and Results parts of a research paper (IMRAD style) in a scientific journal written by the researchers who carried out the research. For some areas where secondary sources are used, they could contain a synopsis of available literature within the introduction to the scientific paper, an explanation of what’s known about the condition or treatment within an article in the reference book, or even a synopsis written to examine the existing research. A secondary data source is an overview of prior work within the area within a first peer-reviewed source. This permits secondary sources of new findings in areas where total reviews have yet to be released.
    The book review, which contains the reviewer’s opinion regarding the book, can be an essential source of the reviewer’s view and an alternative source to learn about the book’s details. An overview of the book in the review can be a secondary source.

    What can you do to locate a secondary source?

    One of the significant advantages of using second-hand sources of information for research is that they are readily accessible. Getting a loan or purchasing an ebook on Roman architecture is much simpler than travelling to Italy to look around Roman ruins sites!
    The number of secondary sources is vast, and you’ll discover them all over the most popular research centres, including libraries, bookstores, news websites, and online databases. There are times when they’re not enough, but you’re not sure what secondary sources on the subject you want to select. Look for professional recommendations, for example, teachers, or read reviews on the internet for a better idea of the best secondary sources for your research subject.

    How do you evaluate a secondary source?

    When determining whether the source is primary or secondarily sourced, you must evaluate the reliability of it. Persons with biases or secret intentions can misinterpret data obtained from sources primarily for personal gain. So, you must be careful when choosing sources.
    To begin, look up the bibliography for your source. Most secondary sources include their sources in the form of a bibliography. Primary sources do not require bibliographies since they’re the primary sources. Bibliographies are a must. It is the most efficient method of identifying the source of a secondary one.
    Another option is to consider the source of information; if they aren’t directly involved in the events surrounding the subject, It should be another source. Whether you believe the source is primary or second-hand, it is still essential to determine the credibility of the person who created it. Check whether they are motivated to falsify or mislead data or misinform their viewers.

    What are the main differences?

    Evidence or sources of information are usually classified into three categories: primary, second, or tertiary materials. The classifications depend on the source’s origin and the relationship between the source and its source. This tells the user whether the author relays information directly from their own experience or is merely relaying thoughts and experiences of someone else, and is classified as second-hand. Deciding if a source should be classified as primary and secondary, or even tertiary, can be difficult. Below is an explanation of the three kinds of data, along with examples that will assist you in making a decision.

    Primary Sources

    These are the records of the events or proofs in the form they were first recorded or even occurred with no interpretation or comment. This data has been displayed for the first time or is original material based on other studies. The primary sources present original ideas, report on recent findings, or provide new details.

    Primary sources examples:

    Theses, dissertations, scholarly journal articles (research grounded), some reports from government conferences, symposiums and other proceedings, original artwork speeches, poems, photos and memos. Diaries, personal narratives, interviews, autobiographies, and letters.

    Secondary Sources

    These resources provide a review or recapitulation of primary sources. They typically attempt to define the primary sources or provide explanations. They are usually documents that summarize, analyze, reorganize, or add value to an original source.

    Some examples of secondary sources:

    Textbooks, edited work publications, and books that analyze or discuss the research results and biographies’ history. Literary criticism and analysis, critiques of laws and statutes, Political analyses and comments.

    Tertiary Sources

    They are the sources used to provide an index, abstract, or a way to organize the information and then compile or analyze different sources. Certain reference books and other textbooks are considered secondary sources if their primary purpose is to summarize, list or summarize ideas and other data. Most tertiary sources do not identify as belonging to one particular writer.

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